In a major boost to empower farmer communities, and enhance farmer economic livelihood, Cargill has launched ‘Digital Saathi’ – a mobile-first, artificial-intelligence (AI)- based local online service platform. Digital Saathi will provide digitally enabled agriculture advisory services and enhanced market access to smallholder farmers based in 5 districts of Karnataka including Davangere, Bellary, Haveri, Chitradurga and Shimoga. Small and marginal farmers will gain easy access to multiple stakeholders such as peer farmers, Farmer Producing Companies, agri-suppliers, buyers, traders and processors.
The farmer mobile app has already engaged with 6,000 registered small farmers and is projected to reach 30,000 farmers in Karnataka by May 2022. Cargill has set a global goal to provide training on sustainable agricultural practices and improve access to markets for 10 million farmers by 2030 and Digital Saathi is a step towards that direction. Through this hyper-localized service platform, Cargill aims to connect with over 3 million farmers in the next 5 years.
Digital Saathi provides farmers with digital solutions like discussion forums and information on market price, weather forecasts, pre- to post-harvest and other related details. Beginning October 2021, the app will also feature Crop Input e-commerce and Crop Sell Offer to improve access to good quality crop inputs and enable market linkages between farmers and aggregators through the digitally enabled marketplace.
Launching the online platform, Simon George, president of Cargill in India, said, “Digital Saathi has been conceptualized with Cargill’s expertise to enhance economic livelihoods of smallholder farmers and engage with them in the modern era of digital economy. This is a step towards building a farmers’ ecosystem, supporting them and increasing productivity and profitability. We continue to innovate for Indian and global consumers and enable Indian farmers to better align themselves with the market.”
Commenting on launch, the founder of Digital Saathi, Raman Saxena said, “We are committed to farmers and their future to bring in digital solution building last-mile connections across the agri-value chain. Digital Saathi will continue working with farmer needs in the region and collaborating with various stakeholders to bring in the best of innovations and solutions for the agriculture industry.”
Digital Saathi is available on a basic Android phone with information in Kannada – which is comprehensible to farmers based in the districts of Karnataka that will enhance the decision-making process.